Monday, December 20, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your 2011 Middle Infield!

By now you have heard that the Padres middle infield will look quite different then it did in 2010. Gone is the rotating door at SS (though, once Tejada was traded for that door was pretty much shut) and the spark plug at 2B.

In their place, Jed Hoyer has made two moves cementing the 2011 infield and, when coupled with bringing in Cameron Maybin, solidifying everything up the middle for 2010.

So, who are these new Padres and how do they compare to the 2010 versions? Let's go to a Tale of the Tape!

Jason Bartlett

Bartlett is a career .281 hitter, all in the American League. 2009 was clearly the standout year, in which he hit .320 with 14 HR. But, more importantly, he stole 30 bases that year. Frankly, I could care less about the HR's. If you are looking for a 40 HR guy to be brought into Petco, perhaps you are following the wrong team.

But, more importantly, he is a good defensive SS. He has a career UZR of 18.7, though admittedly his 2010 was a down year, both defensively and offensively.

Bartlett also brings with him consistency at a position that was anything but in 2010 for the Padres. 4 different players started at SS for the Padres in 2010, none of which started more than 62 games. In comparing Bartlett to the Padres SS of 2010, it would break down like so:

Bartlett vs Cabrera
Bartlett BA: .254
Cabrera BA: .208 (in 241 PA)

Bartlett SB: 11 (in 17 chances)
Cabrera SB: 10 (in 16 chances)

Bartlett Fielding PCT: .977
Cabrera Fielding PCT: .969 (Cabrera committed 7 errors, third highest on the team in 2010, despite playing in only 67)

Bartlett vs Jerry Hairston Jr.
Bartlett BA: .254
Hairston Jr.: .244 (476 PA)

Bartlett SB: 11
Hairston SB: 9 (out of 15 chances)

Bartlett Fielding PCT: .977
Hairston Jr. Fielding PCT .976 (at SS only. Also committed 6 errors in 62 games at SS)

Bartlett vs Tejada
Bartlett BA: .254
Tejada BA: .268 (by the way, if you had asked me to guess Tejada's BA based on my memory of how good he was in the last two months, I probably would have said about .980. So, rose colored glasses I guess).

Bartlett SB: 11
Tejada SB: 2 (in 2 chances)

Bartlett Fielding PCT: .977
Tejada Fielding PCT: .987 (committing only 3 errors)

Now, you could make the argument that the Padres could have simply brought Tejada back but keep these two things in mind. 1) Prior to coming to San Diego, Tejada was having an absolutely awful year in Baltimore.
2) He cost the Giants $6.5 million for 2011.

So, I would argue that the Padres, in giving up four players, mostly relievers made a great move in finding a player that can provide solid and stable play at one of the most important positions on the diamond. And call me crazy, but between Darren Balsley and Petco Park, the Padres can find serviceable to great relievers plenty of places. Now, call me crazy but I feel like its easier to find bullpen arms then it is starting Shortstops.

This brings us to the next major move, that being the signing of the O-Dog.

Orlando Hudson signed a two-year, $11.5 million contract to be the Padres starting second basemen. Hudson hit .278 in 2010 for the Twins but, much more importantly, the Padres get a 4 time Gold Glover who can get on base (career OPS .770).

For comparison sake, here is Orlando Hudson compared to David Eckstein.
Hudson BA: .278
Eckstein BA: .267

Hudson OPS: .710
Eckstein OPS: .647

And again, let's not forget the Gold Glover caliber defense the Padres get in Hudson.

The Padres are better right now at three major positions (2B, SS, CF) and continue to look for a 1B (heard Brad Hawpe and Troy Glaus mentioned on XX1090 today as more names to throw into that rumor mill).

Suddenly, year 1 of the post-AGon era is looking a bit brighter.


Avenger-in-Chief said...

I love the Padres up the middle with Bartlett/Hudson/Maybin right now.

It would have been interesting to see AGon hitting behind them this year.

Moorad could have handled keeping an extra $6 mil on the books in 2011, no?

GTH said...

I agree that it would have been great to see AGon in this lineup but I understand Hoyer's position. He took his shot with AGon in 2009 and everyday AGon was a Padre, his value dropped. I would love to see AGon as a Padre in 2010 for $6.5 million, but I would hate to see him leave and only receive to compensatory picks in return.

Love this team up the middle. In that regard, I think they are better. Now, for that first basemen...